jamie daniels addiction awareness
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Updated: April 9, 2022

Learning About The Jamie Daniels Foundation

Many people don’t realize how bad the opioid crisis is until it affects them personally. Sadly, this was the case with Ken and Lisa Daniels, founders of the Jamie Daniels Foundation. Their son, Jamie, died of a synthetic opioid overdose in December 2016.

It started with Adderall.

Ken and Lisa believe an ADD misdiagnosis and Adderall prescription catalyzed Jamie’s drug addiction. Therapists continuously prescribed the medication, and during college, he began abusing prescription medication. They were shocked at how easy it was to obtain opioids on campus. Even after admitting his problem and seeking help, doctors still prescribed Adderall and sleeping pills. An in-patient treatment facility also failed to provide a long-term treatment plan. Unsurprisingly, he relapsed.

He entered recovery again, but after moving to a sober living home, he obtained and ingested heroin laced with fentanyl. The house manager did not administer Naloxone, and he died.

It’s frustrating to see how many times the recovery system failed Jamie, and unfortunately, the cause was more than just a series of unfortunate events. During their research, Ken and Lisa discovered the darker side of recovery. Jamie was a victim of something known as “patient brokering,” which, at its core, is insurance fraud.

Ken and Lisa created a silver lining: The Jamie Daniels Foundation.

In 2018, Jamie’s parents started the foundation to help battle stigma and provide vetted resources to those battling drug addiction. Their mission aligns with that of crisis coach Scott H. Silverman, and he had the privilege of speaking with them on his podcast last September.  

The Daniels believe it’s essential that families like theirs speak up to make it clear that the opioid epidemic can affect every family—even “normal” ones. After all, Jamie’s story isn’t one of a teen who got in with the wrong crowd; it’s the story of a teen who struggled with depression and anxiety and trusted medical professionals to have his best interest at heart.

Ken and Lisa decided to dedicate their lives to ensuring that what happened to their son doesn’t happen to anyone else.

These are a few of the ways The Jamie Daniels Foundation is working to help put an end to the opioid epidemic:

  • The Daniels family wants to raise awareness so those who are struggling aren’t afraid to speak out. Jamie was afraid to talk about what he was going through because he feared judgment. He didn’t realize that he was never really alone.
  • They’ve partnered with The Children’s Foundation, so while much of their material is geared towards young people, they are available to help anyone.
  • In just three years, they’ve dispersed $200k in grant money to recovery programs, including one that allowed their son’s alma mater to hire a full-time peer recovery coach.

Jamie’s story is far from unique. He believed prescription medication wasn’t as harmful as street drugs, which is a common misconception, especially among young people. When a friend offered him a pill, he took it. Within five days, he was addicted. As Ken says during the podcast, “Addicts don’t wake up one day and say, ‘Let’s screw up the rest of my life.’”

Be the help that is out there. Consider making a gift to the Jamie Daniels Foundation. And don’t forget—if you or a loved one are dealing with substance use disorder, you can always call Scott at 619-993-2738.

(c) 2022 Scott H Silverman. All Rights Reserved.


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